If You Build It They Will Come
A new student section that is. With the $47 million addition and revitalization of Carver, the number one thing on that list should have been move/build a new student section.
It doesn’t take a genius to notice that the most influential student sections in college basketball are usually hovering right on top of the court. They are front and center, not put in the corner like a reject child that isn’t good enough to land an A in handwriting.
Although I have put a lot of emphasis on the product that is being marched onto the court night in and night out, there is a larger problem. A problem that is being controlled by greedy, snobbed faced idiots. A problem that student and alum have been barking about for years. They need to move the student section and they need to do it soon.
Why some of you not familiar with the set up at Carver Hawkeye arena? Well here are a few reasons:
1. The students have no say in the outcome of the games. So not only is the team not performing well, but when the students do attend, they feel left out, unheard, unloved.2. Lickliter has said it himself; the student section needs to be moved. Enough said.3. Half of the students can’t see a damn thing which makes them not want to come back.
Sure the new practice facility is going to be a plus for recruiting and I get that. I understand that it needs to be done. But what kind of message are you sending to your students by acknowledging that there is no change for a change in the student section?
I’m a member of the Hawks Nest here at Iowa and for a year now our groups’ attempts at trying to upgrade the fan section have been stopped faster than a Russian mobster in a Bruce Willis movie. We’ve been told that the section is immovable because they would have to move major donators into higher seats.
I get that. It does makes sense from a financial stand-point.
But when I walk the upper deck of Carver Hawkeye Arena and hear old men having a fit about how the fan section is weak, and that it should be moved, that theory doesn’t make sense to me anymore.
What do they do at Michigan State? What about at Duke? I don’t see either of those programs or facilities losing out on any donations. I’m sure those folks are overjoyed with being able to watch not only prestigious basketball programs but also an amazing fan section.
It ruffles my feathers that there is no imaginable way to move the Hawks Nest to center court. We’ve been told that there is not a conceivable way, yet I can think of a few off the top of my head.
They could not open the first five rows of seating on the opposite side of the player benches and roll in a two piece, three-step board that the students can stand on. Or put the donators on the other side behind the bench and let the students fill in. Or better yet, put the Hawks Nest behind the benches.
There are so many ways this could be done, and I bet if Barta and the rest of Hawkeye Athletics asked major donators how they feel about the student section, they would receive some rather negative feedback.
That Athletic Department needs to take a look at the Ohio State game and realize what a packed house did for our team. Not only was the place rocking, but the guys played better and made a game out of what could have been a blowout.
They got up for this game, sure it was Ohio State, but they also had a student body in one location, supporting them.
The new facilities might be a major selling point for players in upcoming years, but I guarantee if they watch any games (or attend any games for that matter) and see our student section the way it is now, all of that money that was put into the new and advanced equipment won’t mean jack.
Everybody knows a strong student section sells. It’s plain and simple. If they would just work with the student body around them, Lickliter and the Iowa Hawkeye basketball team can make a giant leap forward. The moving of the Hawks Nest would generate more revenue, it would satisfy fans that say they can’t see behind the backboard, and would create a visually stunning picture on television.
But more important than anything, it would put butts in the seats, and that is the biggest concern for Hawkeye basketball fans, players, coaches, and those imbeciles that work in the Athletic Department.